The collection comprises a series of 47 letters addressed to the Mayor of Nottingham and the towncouncil replying to an invitation to attend the opening of University College Nottingham on 20 June1881. Despite the presence of letters from many prominent people of the day, the collection islimited in scope. Most of the letters are short, usually two pages in length, in which the writersthank the mayor and council for the invitation, accept or decline, and occasionally sendcongratulations to the council on the occasion of the opening of the college. Among those who wereinvited but could not attend was William Gladstone, the Prime Minister, who wrote in his own hand on18 April 1881 (MS 678/10).
There are acceptances to the invitation from the following: Lord Newark (MS 678/4-5), Duke ofPortland (MS 678/15), Lord Granville (MS 678/20), Arnold Morley (MS 678/21), A.J. Mundella (MS678/28), Lord Belper (MS 678/29), Duke of St Albans (MS 678/31), Thomas Huskinson (MS 678/32),Viscount Galway (MS 678/35-36), Professor Tyndall (MS 678/37), Sir Sydney Waterlow (MS 678/38-39),Arthur Dyke Ackland (MS 678/41), James Smart (MS 678/43), Earl Manvers (MS 678/44), and the Bishopof Lincoln (MS 678/46).